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Limited in kind or amount of play

Codes and Frequencies

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LAPLAYAM indicates whether children under age 5 were limited in the amount of play activities they could do because of a physical, mental, or emotional problem.


The field representative began this section of the interview by stating, "I am now going to ask about the general health of family members and the effects of any physical, mental, or emotional health problems."

The term "limited" was respondent-defined.


The Field Representative's Manual for 1997 forward specifically ordered interviewers not to define the term "limited" to the respondent. "If asked for the definition," the Manual directed, "emphasize that we are interested in whether the respondent thinks the person is limited in the specific activity or not." Interviewers themselves were presented in the Manual with a definition of the term "limited": "A person is limited if he or she can only partially perform an activity, can do it fully only part of the time, or cannot do it at all."

The term "problem" was also not routinely defined in the course of the interview, but interviewers were not barred from sharing the official definition.


According to the Field Representative's Manual for 1997 forward, "A problem is defined as the respondent's perception of a chronic, perhaps permanent departure from physical, mental or emotional well being. Short term disabilities (such as pregnancy or an injury where full recovery is expected) should not be included as problems."

Related Variables 

For children under age 5 who had an affirmative response in LAPLAYAM,
LAPLAYAL reports answers to the question, "Is [child] able to take part at all in the usual kinds of play activities done by most children [child's] age?"

Two other variables gauge activity limitation for children under age 18.
LASPED indicates whether a child under age 18 received Special Education or Early intervention Services, and, if yes, LASPEDEM reports whether the child received these services due to an emotional or behavioral problem.


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Persons under age 5.


  • 1997-2018